Chalk


The chalk was betrothed

to the slate

 

Placed equations and explanations

on black skin

simply to be

wiped away

 

As she felt herself losing

her ability to talk

the dust

was proof

fading away

 

Then with his blank stare

and hand ready to erase

 

She took this as a wave good-bye,

 moved to the street

                where the sweat

of a young girl,

movement of feet

and the rain

 

Could mingle with her skin

and her thoughts.

It Should Be Such


It should be such

Tantalus-like good fortune

if coming so close

ends so soon.

And yet it is experience

which speaks,

‘These things happen.’

As an Echo reaches

out for Narcissus

but fallen on petals

the advances

go unheard.

The fly at screen door

smelling honey

And salt humid

in shaker

stuck in one clump

Electricity with nowhere

to ground

Iconoclasts

feeling the constraints

of suburbia

The new translation

no better than the rest begins-

“Of arms and the man I sing”

 

This is a poem from Enter The After-Garde: Selections from 1998-2010

available for Kindle Sunday February 10th.

After Stephen Jonas -XV in an untitled series


dirty whatevers

(really soiled

in dust and mud

ash

all tones accounted for)

laughing

under skins

where even there

there is

no equality

not

with any real thought.

 for Stephen Jonas

this African-American history month